By Sally Campbell
A bit of background: www.clydemarineplan.scot
The Clyde Marine Planning Partnership (CMPP) was formally established in February 2016 by a number of the members of the Core Group of the Firth of Clyde Forum including some of those who served as members of the Steering Group of the Clyde Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative, (known as CSSMEI, one of 4 pilot areas in Scotland, of which I was a member from about 2008). Marine Scotland nominated the CMPP as the delegate for taking forward regional marine planning in the Clyde, published a public notice to this effect and consulted on a draft Direction in February and March 2016.
In March 2017 Roseanna Cunningham MSP, at the time Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR), signed the Ministerial Direction which delegates authority for marine planning in the Clyde Marine Region to the CMPP. Once adopted by Scottish Ministers the Plan will be statutory in nature. The CMPP is a statutory consultee in all marine pre-application and licence applications.
As part of the planning process CMPP staff have completed the ‘Assessment of the Condition of the Clyde Marine Region’ identifying significant pressures and main issues to be dealt with in the marine plan. This can be found on the Clyde Regional Marine Plan page, along with Topic Sheets of key information from selected chapters of the Assessment.
Core to the CMPP’s approach is public and stakeholder input. The Statement of Public Participation (SPP) outlines key periods of time in the plan development process and ways that people can get involved. Read the SPP here.
Core Objectives of the CMPP
Membership of the CMPP
Constitution and Operational Guidance
Marine Licensing and the CMPP
Membership of the CMPP is open to:
· All Firth of Clyde Forum Core Group members at December 2015. (I was a member)
· Any organisation with coastal and marine duties in the Firth of Clyde or an organisation with relevant statutory duties.
· Any corporate body or person who, in the view of members, can provide significant additional relevant skills or expertise in delivering the objectives of the association at a Clyde-wide level and which cannot be secured by the association by other means.
The CMPP Membership is currently made up of 24 stakeholders from a wide range of sectors with interests in the Clyde Marine Region. Before applying for Membership, the CMPP encourages applicants to review the list of Members and consider how their participation will bring significant or unique expertise to the CMPP, in addition to existing Members.
The meeting last week on MS Virtual Teams was one of two on the possible CMPP Governance Structure proposals, and I was there as a Member of the Research Advisory Group of the Clyde, part of Clyde2020, which evolved from Firth of Clyde Forum, with many stakeholders. For example, Invitees to this meeting on governance went to a wide variety of members from Crown Estate Scotland, Salmon Aquaculture Companies, North Ayrshire Council, Argyll and Bute Council, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Fairlie Community Council, Scottish Water, SEPA, RYA, RSPB, Marine Scotland, NatureScot, Peel Ports, Clyde Fishermen’s Association, Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Association, COAST, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust, Scottish Government, Highland and Island Enterprise, plus various research academics, members of the Research Advisory Group. I was in a subgroup for discussion with a representative of Peel Ports, Coastal Communities Network and Loch Lomond and Trossachs
National Park. Peel Ports was clearly keen on ensuring that it stays at the heart of any governance structure. David Telford of CCN (Coastal Communities Network) was keen on raising the whole issue of communities also being represented in governance structures, a system that has so far failed (does this sound familiar?) I used that argument with Derek Manson from Loch Lomond National Park about lack of local people being informed re. a salmon farm application in Loch Long and David Nairn spoke for Fairlie; he was equally clear on representation of communities in governance. I raised lack of islander consultations re. ferries and harbours and the disruption due to ferry serviceability and the condition of fenders at Ardrossan with Peel Ports not making progress in re-fitting them and the consequences for Arran. Based in Liverpool their representative knew little about Ardrossan and its problems! Unfortunately, I did not have a reference to hand re. AFAG’s analysis and islanders vote; this can be found on Arran Ferry Action Group website (www.arranferries.scot). At present, as a statutory body Peel Ports is on the Board of CMPP, along with North Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, Argyll and Bute Council, Clydeplan, Nature Scot. In addition there are 6 elected members of the Board, at present Clyde Fishermen’s Association, West Region Inshore Fisheries Group, Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust, COAST and two vacancies. Surely an opportunity for further community representation?
The issue of community democracy in this CMPP structure and “how do the Clyde communities raise issues specific to them with this proposed governance structure about a failure of a member, especially if a member of the Board, in not fulfilling their contract with islanders?” There are 3 islands in the Clyde that are hardly mentioned yet each is a community in the Clyde, and like all communities, require effective appeal procedures and involvement; their future viability, sustainability, resilience and reliability depends on their ports and ferry services. I then explained to the group about our problems re. the lack of reliability and resilience and turning around looking out my window I told them of the happenings even as we spoke, the loss of yet another 7am ferry, and the consequences. It remains to be seen how local democracy and accountability to the communities is to be served effectively by the CMPP Board and its members?